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Freak weather storms cause misery for many across Dacorum

The flooded foyer at flats in Pheasant Close, Berkhamsted. To the left, ruined carpet which had to be removed from an affected flat

The flooded foyer at flats in Pheasant Close, Berkhamsted. To the left, ruined carpet which had to be removed from an affected flat

Dacorum was not left unscathed after heavy rain and high winds battered the country during Christmas week.

A block of flats in Pheasant Close, Berkhamsted, suffered a flood on Christmas Day after a pipe blockage caused water to leak down from the flat roof, leaving some residents in up to eight inches of water.

Samantha Huxtable’s flat was one of those worst affected, with water running down from the roof into her bathroom and out into her hallway.

Samantha and husband Jason were staying in Wales with family when she got the call from a her neighbour telling her what had happened.

She said: “We’ve only just decorated in here and now we’ve had to take all the carpet up. We can’t use the lights in here until the leak’s been fixed and it’s been dried out.”

Fellow resident Cynthia Folds – who lives in the basement flat – wasn’t affected this time, but has suffered flooding three times in the past.

She said: “It makes you terrified to go away because you don’t know what you’ll come back to. It’s disgusting. When are they going to sort it out?”

A spokesman from Dacorum Borough Council said: “The leak has been sealed up and we are assessing the damage caused to our residents’ flats. We’re working to get it fixed as quickly as we can. The probable cause was leaves blocking an internal drainpipe, leading to water pooling on the roof.”

The council confirmed it was working with residents to rectify the problem and plans to do internal repairs once the building has dried out.

Elsewhere, patients being cared for at the Hospice of St Francis in Northchurch were unable to enjoy Christmas television after a damaged cable on Shootersway left the hospice without mains electricity for nearly 24 hours.

Power was lost at around 7pm on Christmas Day, and it was not restored until about 3.30pm on Boxing Day – but a backup generator provided electricity for the inpatient beds, meaning those being cared for weren’t at risk.

Hospice director Dr Ros Taylor said: “Our nursing team worked heroically during these gloomy hours. I would like to extend my thanks to them for working in such difficult conditions over the Christmas period, and to UK Power Networks for their speedy response.

County Hall also reported an increase in the number of callouts, with more than 550 incidents classified as an emergencies and the majority concerning flooding and fallen trees.

Cabinet member for highways Terry Douris said: “With more rain forecast, motorists should take care.”

 

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